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Upgraded HMS Sutherland leaves for sea trials

27th March 2015 - 08:20 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


After completing an upgrade and maintenance programme by Babcock, the Type 23 frigate HMS Sutherland left for sea trials from the company's Devonport Royal Dockyard on 24 March.

The refit of the HMS Sutherland was undertaken under the Surface Ship Support Alliance Class Output Management arrangements. The vessel is expected to return to the fleet in the spring of 2015.

HMS Sutherland underwent a complete structure repair and strengthening programme after a structural survey of the ship and dry blast programme for the superstructure and upper deck.  This included steel upgrades and new sections to the hull and superstructure.

The frigate also received upgrades including a DNA(2) command system and an advanced radar target indication situational awareness and navigation 3D radar Type 997. Upgrades also included a chloropac system and modifications to the underwater inlets and outlets to reduce corrosion. The ship's high pressure air system pipework and galley equipment were upgraded as well.

The deep maintenance programme saw the removal of rudders and stabilisers as well as the maintenance of propeller shafts and associated bearings. The helicopter handling system was overhauled and the pumps, motors and valves of various ship systems, both shipside and underwater, were overhauled and renewed.

The laundry equipment and sonar bow dome were replaced, and the fresh water and refrigeration systems were overhauled. The weapon systems received maintenance and minor upgrades, and the ship's paint coatings from the water line up was fully renewed after the extensive blast programme.

Gary Simpson, surface combatant programme manager, Babcock, said: 'HMS Sutherland has left Devonport for sea trials in significantly better condition with improved sustainability and fighting capability, following what has been a challenging programme, including the emergent structural repair requirement involving considerable planning and management.

'This upkeep has enabled valuable experience to be gained, which will in turn form an important contribution in meeting the challenge of delivering extended operating life for the rest of the class, as the Type 23 life extension upkeep programme starts later this year.

'The delivery of HMS Sutherland, ready to fight long into her extended life, will also add to the continuing development of knowledge and experience in undertaking Type 23 upkeeps at Devonport.'

The Shephard News Team


The Shephard News Team

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